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Pressing Issue

We are alarmed at the peril to the biosphere and humanity caused by deforestation. Clear-cutting and timber road construction have caused species extinction, soil erosion, flooding, destabilizing climate change, the loss of ecological processes, declining water quality, diminished commercial and sport fisheries, and mud- slides killing countless people.

ARPA (The Amazon Region Protected Areas program)  preserves a full third of the Amazon rainforest.

TUMUCUMAQUE    (too-moo-koo-mah-kay) was the first ARPA reserve. It's four times the size of Yellowstone.

THE AMAZON   is home to over half of the world's species. It's the lungs of the planet, and the pharmacy of the world.

McDonald's and the Amazon

Hamburger Consumption Spurs Amazon Deforestation

Ohio Nun Killed Protecting the  Amazon Rainforest 

Second Activist killed in Brazil 

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How can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye, and say that when we were kids we loved the pandas, lions and whales, but then as grownups we destroyed them? How can we tell other nations to protect their resources while we destroy our own? How can we spend billions of dollars searching for life in outer space while we spend billions of dollars destroying irreplaceable species of life on earth?

There have been 5 mass extinctions in the Earth's past, and 7 out of 10 biologists now believe that we are experiencing another mass extinction of living things. Unlike prior extinctions, this "sixth extinction" is the first to be human-induced, and the fastest in the 4.5 billion year history of Earth.

70% of scientists believe that over the next 30 years as many as one-fifth of all species will become extinct, and 30% of scientists think that as many as half of all species will perish in that time.

Scientists rate the accelerating loss of biodiversity (the variety of plant & animal species and their habitats) as critical to human well-being, and as serious a threat as ozone depletion, global warming, or pollution.

Scientists ranked the critical effects of biodiversity loss as: seriously impairing the ability of the environment to recover from natural and human-induced disasters, destroying the natural systems that purify our air and water, reducing the discovery of new medicines, increasing flooding, drought, and other environmental disasters, contributing to the degradation of the world's economies, damaging agriculture, fisheries, and decreasing the ability to control infectious diseases.

When people think about extinction, they tend to think about dinosaurs - about times long past and species long gone. They should be thinking about the present, the future, our children, and our grandchildren - not only to ensure our own existence, but from an inescapable moral responsibility to future generations and the planet itself.

"I can think of no generation of scientists that has faced a greater challenge than we confront today," American Museum of Natural History Provost of Science Michael J. Novacek commented, "for no other generation has stood at the crossroads between the continued existence of the Earth's biological diversity and an irrevocable catastrophe to the biota. Our responsibility is nothing short of organizing a scientific initiative as complex and daunting as putting a human on the moon, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that life as we know it continues to exist."
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Bird: Jon Sullivan / Brazil Fire - USDA

2006 Greenspan
Photo and design credits: 2006 John Chiappone